When it debuts in November, Norwegian Escape will be Norwegian Cruise Line's largest vessel and the first in a new class of ships. Familiar brands like Mondavi and Margaritaville join local Miami legends Wynwood Brewing and Pubbelly for a blend of only-at-sea gastronomical experiences. Innovations in the spa (therapeutic snow flurries, anyone?) and on the Sports Deck invite adventure and relaxation that's perfect for family time or "me" time. To help you figure out what sets Escape apart from any other cruise ship (aside from its hull brightly painted with sea life), Cruise Critic has compiled a list 10 things to do that can only be found onboard Norwegian's latest ship.
Parrotheads rejoice: Jimmy Buffett's exclusive partnership with Norwegian brings Norwegian cruisers a menu of margaritas from the 5 O'Clock Somewhere Bar to enjoy on deck, island-inspired live music and a complimentary snack selection at Margaritaville at Sea, Buffett's first cruise ship restaurant. Yes, that includes the legendary Cheeseburger in Paradise -- plucked straight from Buffett's song lyrics and prepared just for you with a "big warm bun and a huge hunk of meat."
Channel your inner Brat Pack, and get down with Duckie, Ferris, Bender and the gang at "For the Record: The Brat Pack Live at the Supper Club," an homage to the famed teenage flicks of the '80s. Set in a swanky supper club, the dinner-and-show performance premiering on Escape revives your favorite Hughes film scenes and soundtracks from "The Breakfast Club," "Sixteen Candles" and more. Isn't she pretty in pink?
In partnership with Miami-based Wynwood Brewing Company, Norwegian Escape will feature the first craft beer hall in the cruise industry. District Brew House will serve up 24 beers on tap -- including La Rubia Blonde Ale, brewed especially for Escape -- along with a selection of 50 bottles. Once you've had your fill of the gastropub-style menu, jump in an onsite photo booth with friends, and pin your mugs (pun intended) to the District's pin board.
Sail the steamy Caribbean while you chill out therapeutically in the Mandara Spa's Snow Room. The plunge into subzero temperatures is said to stimulate circulation in the body. Other exotic thermal suite spaces include the Salt Room. (You'll also find this on Norwegian's Breakaway-class ships.)
Bayamo, inspired by the Cuban city of the same name, is Chef Jose Garces' latest Latin-infused seafood restaurant and the first at sea. Choose signature items like black cod or roasted eggplant from an a la carte menu while dining inside, or, better yet, dine alfresco along the ship's Waterfront. If you're looking for a more casual venue, Garces offers up traditional Spanish small plates at Pincho Tapas Bar. There, diners can watch their food prepped tableside on an authentic la plancha grill.
Norwegian's first wine bar premieres on Escape through a partnership with the Michael Mondavi family, which has been creating Napa Valley vintages since 1966. The Cellars -- A Michael Mondavi Family Wine Bar will feature a wine list including 35 varietals, priced a la carte, along with tapas for pairing. The tasting room boasts scenic ocean views; for the ultimate alfresco experience, visit the wine bar on The Waterfront, with service provided by a certified sommelier. Interested in learning while you sip? Join experts at the Tasting Table experience.
Norwegian is known for its high-caliber entertainment, including onboard productions of such Broadway hits as "Legally Blonde" and "Rock of Ages." Escape ups the ante with two straight-from-Broadway shows: "After Midnight," bringing the big-band jazz of the Cotton Club era, and "Million Dollar Quartet," about the chance recording session between music legends Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins. The best part? These shows are included in cruise fares.
With the doors closed at the legendary watering hole Tobacco Road -- once Miami's oldest bar -- the onboard version on Norwegian Escape is your only chance to experience the spirit of the area's most famous speakeasy. Outfitted with original memorabilia as well as its iconic neon sign, Tobacco Road serves up cocktail creations by renowned mixologist Leo Holtzman, along with a bit of nostalgia.
Plenty of cruise ships feature exhilarating top-deck experiences, but Escape promises the biggest and best yet. A three-story ropes course with five sky rails to zipline and two planks to walk over the side of the ship (along with a ropes course just for kids) beckons passengers with 99 total course components. Nearby, cool off at the ship's water park, which includes four water slides, four hot tubs, two pools and a kids' splash area.
The Pubbelly Restaurant Group, founded by award-winning chef Jose Mendin, has made a burgeoning business of small plates from a variety of global culinary traditions. Think noodles from China and ceviche from Peru. At Food Republic, dishes such as black truffle-braised shortrib dumplings, and dates and chorizo featuring smoked bacon, spicy tomato and a goat cheese crema will be prepared to order during lunch and dinner, priced a la carte. As if it couldn't get trendier, passengers order and pay via iPad.
Updated January 08, 2020